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Book Cover for: Hate Speech and Academic Freedom: The Antisemitic Assault on Basic Principles, Cary Nelson

Hate Speech and Academic Freedom: The Antisemitic Assault on Basic Principles

Cary Nelson

Completed shortly before Hamas carried out its barbaric October massacre, Hate Speech and Academic Freedom takes up issues that have consequently gained new urgency in the academy worldwide. It is the first book to ask what impact antisemitism has had on the fundamental principles the academy relies on for its identity--academic freedom, free speech rights, standards for hiring or firing faculty members and administrators, and the ethics of academic conduct and debate. Antisemitic hatred is spreading at a fever pitch. What steps can counter it? What damage to students is done when departments embrace anti-Zionism? Should faculty members face consequences for promoting antisemitism on social media? Should universities make a new push to adopt the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism?

Book Details

  • Publisher: Academic Studies Press
  • Publish Date: Apr 9th, 2024
  • Pages: 330
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9798887194196
  • Categories: Religious Intolerance, Persecution & ConflictJewish StudiesJudaism - History

About the Author

Nelson, Cary: -

Cary Nelson is Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the author or editor of 36 books. He served as national president of the American Association of University Professors and is currently Chair of the Alliance for Academic Freedom.

Praise for this book

"This is an essential book for anyone seeking to understand how serious the threat today is to Jewish university students and teachers."

-- Anthony Julius, Professor, Faculty of Laws, University College London; deputy chairman, Mishcon de Reya LLP; author, Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Antisemitism in England

"Free speech is a central issue on American campuses today, and Israel, Zionism, antiemitism, and the BDS movement provide much of the substance of the ongoing debates. In this wonderfully well-informed and liberal-minded analysis, Cary Nelson constructs guardrails for the ideological combatants and suggests ways to keep the arguments civil. What kinds of resolutions and policies are protected by our free speech rights, and what kinds aren't? When do the acts of student groups or university authorities cross the line into antisemitism, and when not? Which types of boycotts constitute legitimate protest, and which types don't? Nelson is studiously careful, fair, and smart in making the necessary distinctions. If you plan to join the debates, read this book first."

-- Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ; author, The Struggle for a Decent Politics: On "Liberal" as an Adjective

"Let me state outright: Hate Speech and Academic Freedom is the most comprehensive study of the topic ever published. In fact, there is nothing like it. For Nelson, the campus occupies hallowed ground precisely because it is intended to provide sanctuary--indeed, encouragement--for people who care about ideas. But ideas matter only when their validity can be ascertained through debate and discussion. For a narrative without evidence, no matter how often repeated in an increasingly networked world, elides its history into mythology. What should be happening on campuses regarding the Middle East conflict--meticulous research with a careful examination of data and events aiming for clarity--has too often been discarded for an advocacy that masquerades as scholarship with books and articles feeding each other in a cul-de-sac-like echo chamber. Cary Nelson has put together an exhaustive analysis of the serious narrowing of academic work on Israel."

-- Donna Robinson Divine, Morningstar Professor Emerita of Jewish Studies and Professor Emerita of Government, Smith College; coeditor, Word Crimes: Reclaiming the Language of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

"Academic freedom, as traditionally understood, guarantees the right to pursue research in pursuit of the truth, independently of whether its results happen to be acceptable to ideological interests either inside or outside academia. This remarkable book asks what is to become of that guarantee, not only when ideological commitments based essentially on falsehood and bad argument become consensual within sections of the scholarly world itself, but when, as in the case of much current academic writing about Israel, the resulting 'scholarship' plays a leading part in promoting hostility and violence against Jews (but not, significantly, to any great extent against non-Jewish supporters of Israel) both within and beyond academia. Nelson's background, as president of the American Association of University Professors in 2006-2012, and as a leading figure on the academic left, who has worked tirelessly in the cause not only of academic freedom but also of equal treatment for all members of the academic community, uniquely qualifies him to comment on these questions. He has produced a richly detailed and informative but also stringently and acutely argued book, which should become essential reading for anyone concerned about the present state of our universities."

-- Bernard Harrison, Emeritus E. E. Ericksen Professor of Philosophy, University of Utah; emeritus professor in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Sussex; author, Blaming the Jews: Politics and Delusion